Hon Ba (the Lady Island), also known as “Ba Vien Dan” (three cannon rounds), is a small island in Vung Tau City. Hon Ba Island is a pretty romantic place. On the island, there is a small temple called the Lady Temple, built in 1881. From the foot of the island to the temple runs a winding road with solid three-step perrons at its end. In 1939, Archinard, a Frenchman officer, aimed three cannon rounds at the temple on the purpose to demolish it, but only one hit in the corner of the temple. Not much damage was made. Soon after that, the officer lost his life by his own gun due to his carelessness. That is why the island is called “Three cannon rounds” or Archinard. People, however, call it Hon Ba.
Mystery of Hon Ba Island in Vung Tau also comes from its location. The only way to get there is taking the path which can be seen during the low tide. The present temple is 4m above the surface of the earth. Inside the temple, there is a 6mx3m cell, once used as a place for secret meeting of patriots.
Each year, there are four major offerings at the temple, which are in lunar January, April, July and October. Hon Ba is now famous for travelers as it is not only a tourist attraction, but also a spiritual destination for cultural and religious visitors. The island might get too crowded on weekends and holidays. Many Vietnamese people from Saigon are coming to Vung Tau to honor the traditions and visit Hon Ba island.
The location of the island is quite unusual. Splendid sea view, Small Mountain with Jesus Statue on it and Back Beach can be seen from its top. From Ha Long Street winding around the Small Mountain, visitors wishing to reach Hon Ba Island can travel to the Nghinh Phong cape where they can see the island emerging from the sea. Thousands of small white horses clasping the cliffs and the sand of the island create romantic scenes. In time of tidal fall, millions of small stones arranged in jumbled order of the nature emerge, providing chance for adventurous visitors to explore. The whole island is covered by green coconut, poplar and areca trees and the fragrance of flowers. There are two ways to get to the island. One is to hire a boat and go there during the rising tide. The other is to walk through the strait during the receding tide. Going on foot is a lot of fun but also adventurous, for there are a lot of sharp shells along the way. Though visitors may get minor injuries sometimes due to sharp shells, most of them choose to get to the island on foot. The first thing that attracts your attention as soon as you reach an island is the concrete bunkers with the signs of battles. They are the reminders of hard times for older generation in Vietnam. There is no electricity and water system. It’s a small island with a small temple, but it’s definitely worth visiting. The atmosphere is truly unique and the view from the top of the island is stunning. Also you can enjoy a nice morning walk along the beach. Taking the steep stairs up will bring you to the mysterious temple on the top of the island. Unlike other tourist attractions where modern architecture dominates, Hon Ba still has its pristine, lyrical and romantic beauty of the nature. The seawater here is cool and crystal-clear, reflecting stones of all sizes and shapes scattered all along the coast. The perfect combination between the seawater and those stones makes Hon Ba uniquely like no others. Especially, during sunrise or sunset, Hon Ba wears on it a gorgeous beauty as the dark red sunlight is mildly reflected in the blue water.
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